A man has been accused of assaulting an American woman at Auckland's Family Bar on Saturday night after an argument escalated between the DJs.

Brooke Candy, who DJ'd that night, was allegedly punched in the face by Family Bar's Downunder DJ.

Family Bar is known to be an Auckland club catering for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Candy shared on her Instagram story that she was sucker-punched by a straight man while DJ'ing because her set was "too gay".

Photo / Brooke Candy Instagram
Photo / Brooke Candy Instagram

However, Family Bar's operations manager Grady Elliot says a lack of communication on set times caused an argument between the DJ's.

Elliot said that Family Bar opened their doors to QWeird, the organisers/promoters for the event involving the rapper, from 8.30pm till midnight — however Candy didn't arrive until after 11pm and didn't start playing until 11.30pm.

When the resident Downunder DJ came to start is set at midnight, Elliot says things became heated at the DJ box.

"She decided she wasn't going anywhere and told the DJ to f*** off," Elliot says.

"She ... spat at him three times. One of her friends then came up to the DJ box and hit him, telling him to get out and that's when he turned around to her and clipped her on the chin.

"That's what the crowd saw and where it ended up."

Elliot claims when Candy spat on the resident DJ the water went over his gear and laptop.

"He did the gracious thing by letting her use his equipment and that was the way he got treated," Elliot said.


However, a source known to Candy claims the resident DJ made no room for discussion or questions and he just abruptly unplugged her laptop.

"When the laptop was unplugged, the whole bar was silent, which was quite alarming for a pumping club at midnight - it was an extremely unusual thing for a DJ to do - most DJs who are on one after the other might discuss how to blend their sets together and thank each other before sets switch over, but the way this man went about things was starkly brutal and disrespectful," the source said.

"Everyone, most of all Brooke, was mad at this man's manner, and Brooke expressed this to him, to which he responded by punching Brooke in the face."

"She did not touch him once ... Brooke is at least half the size of the man that punched her. It was an absolutely shocking, disgusting thing to witness, it frightened us all immensely."

The organisers of the event on Saturday, Qweird, claim during the set and upon leaving their team were threatened by Family Bar security.

"We spent the remainder of the night expressing to management how extremely unacceptable and disgusting this behaviour was but unfortunately they have chosen to do nothing about the situation," a spokesperson for Qweird said.

"There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour, and no excuse for the lack of accountability displayed by Family Bar when it comes to safe security practices [including de-escalation, violence prevention, ensurance of a safe space the and treatment of marginalised people].

"All we and Brooke wanted was for there to be a safe space for our people to party and have a good time but unfortunately Family Bar has made it abundantly clear it has no interest in the protection of queer people within its walls and thus we have decided to terminate any future projects involving Family Bar."

Family Bar's operations manager has put the blame on the promoters of the event, saying that it should have started by at least 10pm so that Candy could have enough time to DJ before midnight.

"The promoters need to take some responsibility for this ... it started from them and they fuelled the whole thing," Elliot explained.

"She wanted to keep going, she only played three songs, she thought she was playing until 1am.

"If they started at 10pm when they were supposed to start and communicated properly this wouldn't have escalated."

Qweird is an event organising group that aims to promote local LGBTQIA+ performers alongside international guests. The event on Saturday night was a collaboration between local drag and vogue performers at which Candy was doing a Dj set.